30) Science and Spirituality

Most of the present day physicists and spiritualists do not see eye to eye with each other. This is because of the different approaches that they take and firm belief systems that they have created around themselves that makes their vision impaired in terms of recognizing the unity behind. But, were physicists and spiritualists like this since times immemorial? A nice venture into the birth of modern physics, will reveal few insights that would shed some light on this aspect.

Erwin Schrödinger was one of the founding members of quantum mechanics. He is greatly known through his ‘Schrödinger EQUATION’ which is an empirically true equation which is like the backbone of quantum mechanics. This great personality delivered few lectures on LIFE, at Trinity college, Dublin. These lectures were then compiled into a book, by the title – ‘What is LIFE’. When you go deeper into this book, you will find his explanations on consciousness to be akin to the thoughts of Upanishads. In this series, he mentions the greatness of Upanishads. In his words: “….From the early great Upanishads the recognition ATHMAN = BRAHMAN ……… was in Indian thought considered………to represent the quintessence of deepest insight into the happenings of the world. The striving of all the scholars of Vedanta was……. to assimilate in their minds this grandest of all thoughts.…….”. In his work ‘My view of the world’, he says “….The only solution to this conflict, in so far as any is available to us at all, lies in the ancient wisdom of the Upanishads…..”. He also quotes from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad to draw the parallels of the idea of oneness of all. He could thus, see the beauty in the thought and the TRUTH in the concept behind the utterances of Upanishadic and Vedantic teachings.

In his book ‘God is not one’, Stephen Prothero says that Neil’s Bohr, another founding fathers of atomic physics, once quoted that “I go to the Upanishad to ask questions”. We all know the interactions of Einstein with Tagore and Tesla with Swami Vivekananda. Fritjof Capra, a systems theorist, gave out a magnificent book titled ‘Tao of Physics’. This book aims at uniting the western science with eastern spirituality. In fact, it does a very great job. A physicist like him was very much needed in this modern era, to show the unity between these two. Not only physicists, take the chemist – William Crookes, for example. He was an active participant of theosophical society and taught occult doctrines along with science. He also helped Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater in their clairvoyant investigations, which brought out a new field in spiritual domains, by the name ‘Occult Chemistry’. H. J. Arnikar, Professor Emeritus in Chemistry, in the University of Pune, wrote an excellent introductory book named ‘Essentials of Occult Chemistry and Modern Science’, explaining the foundational principles of aforementioned investigations. There are many more scientists who saw clearly, the ideas of spirituality. Not only that, they also got inspired from these ideas. They sought to ONE fountain of wisdom. Some other scientists, whose teachings the reader may look into (if interested) are- Werner Heisenberg, Dr. Abdul Kalam, Swami Jnanananda (nuclear physicist and a saint), etc.

Thus, all these scientists and spiritualists, broke through the limitations of normal rules set by society and went beyond the boundaries of imagination, in search for TRUTH. Thus, they could see that all the different lakes and rivers meet in one OCEAN. Science without spirituality, leads to physical chaos and Spirituality without science, leads to doubts which in turn leads to mental chaos. The world needs a balance between these two, which is what all the great thinkers, scientists and spiritualists have been doing since times immemorial. So the resent day thinkers should also try to achieve this balance and look deeper than what meets the eye!

Thank You

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7 Comments

  1. Enjoyed reading this well-quoted and well-researched piece. I dealt on this topic in my book “Hinduism beyond rituals, customs, and traditions” chapter 10. I wrote: “Hinduism is an academy of sciences. It finds its dwelling in the realm of metaphysics besides accepting the environment of physical realities where most sciences reside. That is what distinguishes the ancient Indian sciences that these go beyond the empirical confines to explore and analyze the spiritual realities as well.

    As Hindu scientific tradition deliberates on the sociological and metaphysical experiences and phenomena, it strives toward integrated acceptance of both palpable and impalpable spiritual realities in the creation of knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This resonates with what I think about India at present! Everyone is fighting a battle of their interpretation ‘what India is.’ They don’t realize all their ideologies, convictions, doctrines and thoughts culminate in one nation India which is a vast ocean of ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

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